This Simple Test Can Save Your Life
Virtual CT scan colonoscopy uses a computed tomography (CAT) scanner to visualize the large intestine. The CT scan takes multiple cross-sectional images of the abdomen and uses a computer program to create a three-dimensional model of the bowel.
This high-tech procedure allows an inside view of the large intestine that is ordinarily only seen with a more invasive procedure in which an endoscope inserted into the rectum and passed through the intestines.
Virtual CT scan colonoscopies do not require an intravenous injection of contrast dyes. Winchester Hospital’s CT services are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
How the Test is Done
The instructions will be provided to you by the physician who orders the test. You will prepare the same way you would for a standard colonoscopy. You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You will be given a hospital gown to wear during the procedure.
The technologist begins by positioning you on your side on the CT scan examination table. Pillows will be provided for comfort. The technologist will insert a tube into your rectum. A radiologist will gently pump air into your colon through the tube.
Once your colon is filled with air, the table will move through a large scanner that will take two sets of pictures. The first picture will be scanned while you lie flat on your back. The second will be taken while you lie on your stomach. Your exam will take approximately 45 minutes.
The majority of patients report a feeling of fullness when the colon is filled with air, which may feel uncomfortable. The scanning procedure itself causes no pain or other symptoms.
Afterwards you may have abdominal gas, but you can resume normal activities including eating and drinking immediately after the exam.
How to Schedule a Scan
To schedule a virtual CT scan colonoscopy, call Winchester Hospital’s centralized scheduling office at 781-756-2211. CT exams require a written physician order that can be faxed or brought with you. You may be required to have pre-authorization from your insurance carrier prior to your exam.
CT scan colonoscopies are scheduled seven days a week and on weekends and evenings.
Winchester Hospital offers virtual CT scan colonoscopies Monday through Friday at these two locations:
Winchester Hospital Outpatient Center at Unicorn Park
200 Unicorn Park Drive, Suite 402, Woburn, Massachusetts
41 Highland Avenue, Winchester, Massachusetts
Paying for Your Exam
Although Winchester Hospital accepts most major commercial insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid and Worker’s Compensation, it is important to check with your carrier prior to your exam to determine coverage. If you do not have health insurance, we accept MasterCard or Visa, personal checks or cash. We also are willing to set up payment plans.
Getting Your Results
Your exam will be interpreted by a radiologist using our state-of-the-art picture archiving and communication system (PACS). The results will then be sent to your doctor. Your doctor, in turn, will review the results with you to determine the best course of treatment.
To get a copy of your images, you will need to pre-arrange their release by calling Winchester Hospital’s Imaging Center in Woburn at 781-756-4008 or Winchester Hospital at 781-756-2353. A notice of 24 hours is preferred for most efficient customer service. Urgent requests will be honored, but there may be a 30- to 60-minute wait.
Winchester Hospital offers a wide array of leading-edge diagnostic imaging services close to home, led by a team of highly-skilled general and specialty radiologists, nurses, technologists and support staff.
At every stage of life and for every medical need, Winchester Home Care can help, with home care services for people facing challenges of later life stages, with new babies, with disabilities, fighting illnesses, and more.
Winchester Hospital was the first community hospital in Massachusetts to earn Magnet recognition, which recognizes quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.